Friday, June 27, 2008

New Reminder Service Eases Impact of Fine Increase

The Ridgefield Library is pleased to introduce Library ELF, a free service that allows library users to request e-mail or text message reminders several days ahead of when items are due. One popular feature is the ability to consolidate information about all of your family’s library accounts, even at multiple libraries, in one location and receive just one combined reminder. Check our website at or ask at the Circulation Desk for information on how to put Library ELF to work for you.

ELF may be of particular interest in light of the recent Library Board decision to raise fines on overdue books to 25 cents per day, effective July 1st. Everyone is feeling the economic pinch these days, and the Library is not immune to the escalating cost of everything from postage to electricity. This is one of many strategies the Library is exploring to remain a fiscally responsible organization in tight times. We hope this move also will encourage people to adhere to due dates and keep our collection circulating briskly and equitably, so that others may have their turn to read that new bestseller in a timely manner. The $1.00 per day fine on videos, DVDs and videogames remains the same, and modest per item maximum fine limits also stay the same, at $2.50 for children’s materials, $5.00 for adult materials and $10.00 for video materials.

The Library offers many other ways to help you avoid paying fines. Most items can be renewed online. All items, including audiovisual material, may be returned in the outside book drop after hours without incurring an overdue charge until after we open the next day. E-mail overdue notices provide more timely notification of mounting fines than conventional mailed notices. A receipt print-out of all items borrowed can be helpful in keeping track of what is due when. Ask for details at the Circulation Desk.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting Ready for Summer @ the Library

Summer has arrived, and things are hopping at the Ridgefield Library. Here are a few reminders to help you get the most out of your library experience this summer.

Effective June 22nd, the Library has switched to summer hours, which drop our Sunday openings until after school starts in the fall. We remain open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 AM to 6 PM, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 AM to 9 PM and Saturday from 9 AM to 5 PM.

Summer Reading programs for children, teens and adults begin this week, and the next six weeks will be chock full of special events and activities. To make sure you don’t miss anything, sign up now for our weekly e-mail newsletter. Ask any service desk for a registration form. At the same time, you can sign up to receive overdue notices and hold notifications by e-mail as well – a real time and money saver for you and for the Library.

To get in and out of the Library as efficiently as possible during these busy times, make sure you bring your library card with you and have it ready when you get to the check-out desk. This saves time and ensures accuracy. You will also need a library card in good standing to take advantage of our new self-service check-out machine, which should be installed within the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more on this exciting new service.

To use this express check-out station, your account must be free of any delinquencies such as lost item charges or total fines over $5.00. To help you clear up these charges, we now accept Visa and MasterCard at the Circulation Desk. To help us avoid unnecessary processing fees, we suggest a minimum charge of $5.00. Ask for details on your next visit.

Seniors, Teens and Wii

Teenagers sometimes seem to be a different species, depicted in the media as lazy, self-centered and interested in music, movies and other pursuits nearly incomprehensible to their elders. Well, at the Ridgefield Library, we think that there is more to admire in both teenagers and their favorite pastimes than meets the eye. A dedicated and talented group of young people make up the Library’s Teen Advisory Group (TAG), which helps to plan and implement programs and services for middle and high schoolers. They have assisted with reorganizing collections, served as a focus group for publishers’ representatives specializing in young adult literature, created book displays to entice other readers and much more. In addition to making the Library a stimulating and welcoming place for their own peer group, TAG members also serve as ambassadors to older and younger Ridgefielders, donning story book character costumes to entertain young children and lending a helping hand to new readers as volunteers with the Library’s Summer Reading Program.

The latest intergenerational endeavor is coming up on Wednesday, July 25th, when members of TAG will travel to Founders Hall for a 2:30 seminar called “What’s Wii?” Perhaps best known for its Guitar Hero game, Nintendo’s Wii is one of the hottest youth crazes today. But video games are not just for kids! “Wii video game system becomes new tool for hospital rehab unit,” trumpets one recent headline, and numerous studies show that older adults can gain important physical and psychological benefits from the Wii. This electronic game system has people of all ages bowling, playing golf and tennis and swinging a hula hoop - all in their living rooms.

If you are a member of Founders Hall, do join us to learn about the Wii phenomenon. You’ll not only hear about it, you’ll have a chance to play – and to meet some of the Library’s exemplary young adults.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Celebrating Older Adults at the Ridgefield Library

Some news from Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski.

While May is officially designated as Older Adults Month, the Ridgefield Library offers services with appeal to this growing demographic year round.

For those who find regular books difficult to read, the Library has a collection of over 2,400 large print titles, ranging from current best sellers to the classics. Our ever-growing audiobook collection, for those who want to read while on the go, includes books on CD and cassette and downloadable audiobooks. Our newest additions are Playaways, self -contained audiobooks that at only 2 ounces offer the ultimate in portability.

While not only geared to older adults, this summer the Ridgefield Library will be launching a Homebound Delivery Service for those unable to come to the library due to short- or long-term medical problems or disabilities. Eligible patrons will be in contact with a library staff member, who will help in the selection of library materials, including regular and large print books, audiobooks, and DVD movies. Then, a volunteer will make deliveries and pick-ups to and from their place of residence. We hope to have this program in full swing by mid-summer.

From June 23rd through August 2nd, the Library will be holding its fourth annual Adult Summer Reading Program. This year’s theme is Adults Read Around Ridgefield, and for each book read or audiobook listened to, participants will earn one dollar toward the purchase of large print books and audiobooks earmarked for our new Homebound Delivery Service. In addition, we will be featuring weekly prizes, book displays, reading recommendations and special programs, including Books & Breakfast Chats, Brown Bag Mystery Lunches, live music, and more.

For more information about the Homebound Delivery Service or the Adult Summer Reading Program contact Adult Services Librarian Dorothy Pawlowski. And thanks to the Friends of the Ridgefield Library for their support of both of these programs.

Migrating Collections

Here's a report from the stacks courtesy of Reference Services head Victoria Carlquist.

If you’ve been in the nonfiction or reference stacks at the Ridgefield Library lately, you’ve undoubtedly wondered what in the world had happened to the reasonable organization of the books on the shelves. And then there’s all that yellow caution tape.

This is what’s going on. We are in the process of reorganizing our collection, and unfortunately this means a bit of chaos until the switching around is complete.

For years we have shelved the reference books (those which do not circulate) in the room behind the Reference desk and the nonfiction circulating collection in the main room of the Library. When looking for nonfiction books, most people tend to peruse only the shelves in the Library’s main room, thereby missing reference materials on the same subjects. Combining the two collections in the main room will make finding more information easier. The reference books are clearly marked on the spines, which we hope will limit confusion.

In order to provide space for the interfiled collections, we needed to move something to the shelves in the reference room, and the biography collection got the nod. So look for Teddy Roosevelt, Anne Boleyn and other favorite historical figures in their new home.

For those of you who are used to finding the business/financial materials in the reference room, they will continue to be there. Multi-volume sets of biographical, art, music, and science encyclopedias will also be found there, as well as the language learning materials.

So please excuse our temporary migratory movement. Hopefully it will not take long for everything to settle into normalcy again. By the way, we interfiled reference and circulating material in Children’s Services some months ago, and this system seems to work well for information-gathering Ridgefielders of all ages!